Not Out To Lunch At 75 by marilyn salenger

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A woman’s age was supposed to be kept secret. Whether for vanity or professional reasons, that was society’s thinking for many generations. It was only in the early 70’s that revealing our age became a sign of freedom or liberation. We began to rebel against negative stereotypes and stand up for ourselves saying very simply but rather bodly, “This is who I am and this is how old I am.”

I’ve never liked stereotypes and bucked them subtly and not so subtly all of my life. With that preface, I’m happy to share with you that I’m turning 75 this week and am not an ‘old lady’ despite the years. Old is a destination. Older is the process of getting there.

The picture above was taken in November, 2018 as a casual attempt at an untouched selfie. The only thing that’s not true me in that picture is the color of my hair. I need a little help these days to get back to my natural color which I like better than the alternative. People are either very surprised or semi-shocked when I tell them how old I am. No, I don’t look my age or sound my age thanks to a great set of designer genes gifted by my mom and dad. But how am I supposed to look and sound?

People have asked me what its like turning 75, and I respond by saying it’s different than turning 74. That milestone thing conjures up a lot of thinking. It’s as if I’m bucking yet another societal norm sharing that I just don’t feel my new age, however that age is supposed to feel. I still love to work and I still love to play.

I say all of this despite having survived two different cancers in the last six years and feeling the pains of arthritis creeping into places that used to make me a pretty damn good tennis player. Some parts of growing older we could all do without. It’s not always easy, sometimes it’s scary, but then being a real grown up at any age isn’t always easy either. I came close to death at the age of 29 from a rare disease, and there hasn’t been one day since that time that I’ve taken for granted. I feel blessed and grateful beyond any words that can be written.

My generation is living longer and approaching that ridiculous term, the golden years, differently than many of those who came before us. We’re keeping at it longer, as long as we can keep at whatever it is we’re doing. We want to continue feeling valued, and don’t like being treated like an ‘old’ person when it’s done in a derogatory way. Deference is one thing. Discrimination is another.

After I left TV news, I said the next act would be the challenge. Little did I know how many acts were yet to come. The one thing I know today is that the word retirement has never been a part of my personal thought process. Work has been one of the major drivers in my life, and I’ve been my own boss for many years. Retirement is simply alien to me, and a lot of others as well. That doesn’t mean I want to work 60 hours a week. You just begin to think about time differently, and it becomes more focused on what you really want to do and how you want to spend that time.

Many people do look forward to retiring, and that’s great if it works for them. The goal for all of us, on many issues, is choice. But for too large a number over 50, 60 or 70 years of age there isn’t any choice. Age discrimination exists in more professions than not. Pervasive Ageism was the first digital story I wrote for Forbes in 2012 highlighting the issue, especially for women. It’s against the law, but often hard to win the case. The fight needs to continue.

It’s a good news/bad news time to be older and wanting to work. A majority of older Americans over 50 report being pushed out of their jobs by their employers and forced into early retirement. But the Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM) tells us that there are more people over 65 in the workforce than we’ve had in the past three decades. It simply doesn’t make me feel good knowing that a Home Depot sales person was formerly an unemployed corporate executive. Or reading a New York Times story that tells us about midlife crisis hitting as young as 30 if you’re working in the digital world. Those 30 year olds will eventually grow up to be older.

I am part of a large group that came of age with an activist spirit that drove many of us to try and empower change. And we did! This is not the time to stop. Let’s rebrand the terms senior and senior citizen which have come to be connected to many things negative that lead to unfortunate stereotyping. We need to see ads and commercials and stories that reflect our true diversity in every way.

I will always be working at something. It’s just a part of who I am. Once you’re a reporter your’re a reporter until the the end of your days. It’s how you think. How you look at things. The instinctive curiosity that pushes you to keep asking who, what, where, when and how. Those five words taught to me when I was studying to become a journalist in college have continued to drive a love of learning new things and looking for the next challenge.

Stay tuned!

Ready Or Not - It’s 2020 Time by marilyn salenger

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The good old days of the 2016 presidential campaign seem like only yesterday. Yes Trump won the electoral college. Yes Hillary won the popular vote. And yes, as each day continues to inform us, Russia played a critical role in rigging the election. There’s no ‘do over’ in our election system. Our founding fathers went for stability when they set up our Constitution, but the 2016 election has left us all hanging in a unique way.

The chaos of that time is nothing compared to what we have been living through since Donald Trump was elected. Just think back, for a moment, to Trump’s Inauguration day when our new President made a theatrical show of signing his first executive orders, including one that would advance the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. He later demanded that we believe his Inauguration had the largest crowd - ever, despite proof to the contrary, and the term “alternate facts” was coined by his advisor Kellyanne Conway in his defense.

We were off and running, and our country has been operating in a state of political chaos ever since. We’ve never quite reached recovery mode. Trump has gotten used to creating his own style of governing in an attempt to resemble autocratic role models, whether it’s Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, China’s Communist Party bosses, or the Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince. Our allies have been dismissed and too many domestic issues have been ignored or repudiated. Donald Trump’s time in office increasingly feels as if it should have an unofficial asterisk beside the title.

But the time of rude awakening is coming. There are currently close to 20 investigations surrounding this White House and President Trump, including Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 election, the Southern District Court of New York and the state of New York investigations and a growing number of congressional inquiries. The Democratic majority now in control of the House of Representatives is committed to doing what the Republicans didn’t do these past two years - provide a check and balance system to governance. While the Republicans held the majority, President Trump was basically allowed to run our government any way he wanted, with Republicans, for the most part, aiding and abetting.

The non-legal net result of all of these investigations has been to keep the tumult of 2016 election front and center in the public’s mind, creating a degree of political burnout just as the 2020 presidential race begins. How can a Democratic candidate running for President in this environment combat voter political fatigue? Come out big, strong and focused for the long haul.

In less than two months, we’ve seen a large and diverse Democratic field of presidential candidates emerge, with more announcements expected to come. The size and diversity of the field alone will make this a totally different kind of race for Democrats. While they seem to be operating with an all in mentality, there’s one potential liability based upon their sheer numbers. A big field of Democrats running for President can damage one another in the run up to the nomination. Think debates. Any damage done will absolutely be seized upon by Trump.

The large field of Republican candidates in the 2016 race wrecked havoc upon themselves leaving each with some form of scarring, and Donald Trump emerging as the last man standing. Amazingly enough, at this point in the 2020 race we can’t even say for certain whether or not President Trump will actually be the Republican nominee. The results of all of the investigations surrounding Trump will, in all likelihood, come out during the next nearly two years of campaign time. That leaves a significant question mark for Republicans going forward.

If Donald Trump leaves office before his term has officially ended, Vice President Mike Pence would assume the office of President. If yet further unforeseen circumstances arise that remove Pence from the presidency, our Constitution dictates that the next in line is the Speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi would then be sworn in as President of the United States.

That’s an interesting scenario.

The "Humanitarian" Who Isn't: Donald Trump by marilyn salenger

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Why are 800,000 people scattered across the country still going without pay because of a partial government shutdown? There is no answer that makes any sense at this point except one - Donald Trump wants things his way or no way. If you can’t pay your rent or mortgage, buy food or put gas in your car, does he really care? It appears not. He must not have read or listened to the stories about the personal impact the shutdown is having on federal worker’s lives, or the ones on how to cook meals on very little money. The big D word, Depression, is being used to put having no money during this time in context. Businesses large and small will feel the trickle down effect as the days go on.

In order to justify his action, the President went on national television to tell us all about a “humanitarian crisis” taking place at our southern border. “A crisis of the heart, and a crisis of the soul”, he said. But whose heart and whose soul and what crisis was he talking about when there was only one ominous reference in his speech to those going without money because of the shutdown he has ordered. The true American humanitarian crisis today is the one he has created at home. Almost a million people who work for our government aren’t getting paid, not because we don’t have the money to pay them, but because they have become pawns in Trump’s political power game. The issues at our southern border need to be resolved, but at what cost?

There are so many parts of this latest Trump episode that come together to create a vivid reality of the man who is a master at diverting attention to get attention. His national address turned a prime time spotlight on once again, but that was it. It was a political speech telling us how bad the Democrats are for not giving him the $5.7 billion dollars he wants to build a wall - part of which is already in place. The shutdown and the speech take momentary attention away from special counsel Robert Mueller’s work, as well as most things Russia and Trump.

This is the first time that Democrats have control of Congress since Trump was elected, and he doesn’t seem to know how to handle it. Or Nancy Pelosi. His fall back in dealing with them has become the one thing he is used to doing when his back is against the wall. Make it an either/or situation. I win. You lose. But our democracy doesn’t work that way.

Democrats have offered $1.3 billion to enhance border security. Trump, the man who is trying to save face for his base, says it’s not enough. Who says that negotiations on border security can’t continue if 800,000 people are brought back to work and get paid? Trump and the slew of Republicans that remain under his spell.

Somehow the administration’s announcements that food stamps would be available to help some people affected by the shutdown just doesn’t do it. If all of Congress was put on mandatory food stamp allocations during this shutdown, how long do you think it would take to reopen the government?

In light of a major partial government shutdown, Donald Trump once again appears to be a little fish trying to swim in a big pond - without any swimming lessons.

Trump Cancels White House Christmas Party For The Press by marilyn salenger

The news release appearing below and its headline were written by Fox media reporter Howard Kurtz and issued today as an “Exclusive”. I have never posted an entire news release written by any organization, but believe it’s important for those not in the media to read this in entirety. You can see how the depth of pettiness and anger emanating from the White House is playing out for those journalists who cover the White House this holiday season. No announcement was made by the White House at this time.

Trump Cancels White House Christmas Party For The Press

“President Trump has canceled the White House holiday party for the media, making the decades-old tradition a victim of his increasingly contentious relationship with major news organizations.

The annual Christmas-season gathering was a significant perk for those covering the White House, as well as other Washington reporters, anchors and commentators, and New York media executives would regularly fly in for the occasion. At its peak, the invitation-only soirees grew so large that there were two back-to-back events, one for broadcast outlets and one for print organizations.

Journalists who attended the events, which featured a catered buffet of lamb chops, crab claws and elaborate desserts, got to roam the decorated mansion with a spouse or other family member, a friend or a colleague, adding to the invitation's allure.

But the biggest fringe-benefit was the picture-taking sessions, in which the president and first lady would patiently pose with guests and briefly chat with them in front of a Christmas tree, with the White House sending out the photos — copies of which were invariably sent home to mom. This would take a couple of hours, with long lines snaking across the building's first floor. Bill Clinton even posed for pictures with journalists days after he was impeached.

The White House made no announcement that it was dropping the press party. The president and first lady threw such a gathering last December but did not pose for pictures. Trump made a brief appearance with his wife and offered a few welcoming remarks.

Top White House officials, especially the communications staff, routinely circulated at these media parties and often talked shop. Last year, chief of staff John Kelly held forth with reporters for at least 15 minutes, making informal remarks that turned into a mini-press conference.

The decision is hardly shocking, given Trump’s constant attacks on "fake news" and the overwhelmingly negative coverage of him and his administration. In recent weeks, the White House pulled the credentials of CNN's Jim Acosta after he refused to give up the microphone at a news conference and restored his pass only after the network filed a lawsuit.

Trump has also twice refused to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner, a tony media awards dinner attended by every president since Richard Nixon.

While dropping the media party, the White House is in the midst of a full panoply of other parties this holiday season. Selected media people generally favorable to Trump, including a few Fox News hosts, have made those guest lists.

When Democrats have been in the White House, more liberal commentators have gotten invitations, while more conservative pundits have shown up during Republican administrations.

Some critics questioned whether those who cover or comment on the White House should engage in such socializing, but few turned down the invitations. Many Trump supporters who view his coverage as unfairly harsh will undoubtedly welcome the president’s decision to exclude the media establishment, at least for this year.”

You can view the original Fox News release here:

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-cancels-white-house-christmas-party-for-the-press

Trump's Tawdry Life With Women And Illegal Use Of Money by marilyn salenger

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I lived in New York City for many years, as have millions of others. I lived not far from Trump Tower and the Plaza Hotel Donald Trump once owned, and Wollman Rink that now has his name splashed all over the ice skating rink. It was near impossible to miss all of the sensational stories about Donald Trump’s personal life and questionable business practices over the decades. But somehow, staring in 2015, the bold and brassy Donald thought he could pull a fast one on the country and run for President while attempting to sweep all of his dirty linen, pun intended, under the bed. He lost New York City and New York State in the 2016 election because we knew the guy. The rest of the country has been learning all about him ever since. The tawdry and illegal associated with our President has now been validated by state and Federal legal authorities, and the coverup orchestrated by Trump has formally begun to be exposed.

On April 10, 2018, I published a Political & Otherwise post entitled: Will Women Be The Ones To Bring Down Trump? Eight months later, the answer to that question has taken a giant leap forward to becoming a “yes”. Porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy Playmate (model) Karen McDougal have become household names since April, and the man lying about them to cover for his boss is on his way to three years in jail. Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former lawyer has pled guilty for what he described as hiding Donald Trump’s dirty deeds. He admitted that hush money had been paid to both women saying it was done at the direction of his boss. The payment of $130,000.00 to Daniels and $150,000.00 to McDougal shortly before the 2016 election is being referred to as a violation of Federal election law.

Last Spring audio tapes were found during the raid of Cohen’s office. We heard Michael Cohen’s discussion on tape with Donald Trump about putting together a shell corporation to pay for all the stuff that could be damaging to the candidate. It was factual evidence of payments to women that the President continued to deny. Today we can only wonder how many other payoffs were made and to whom.

There’s been a third man directly involved in Trump’s efforts to hide his scandals during the campaign. David Pecker has been a Trump buddy as well as publisher of the National Enquirer. who always did everything he could to help his friend. That friendship is probably history now that we’ve learned Pecker has provided key testimony to Federal prosecutors investigating Michael Cohen, and in his own way turned on Trump.

David Pecker and the Enquirer’s parent company American Media, Inc.(AMI) have negotiated an immunity deal based upon continued cooperation and a critical admission. In an agreement dated September 21, 2018 but only publicaly released on December 12, AMI admits that it worked with Trump’s campaign to kill, or not publish, stories about the presidential candidate’s relationships with women that would have been damaging to candidate Trump beginning in 2015. American Media, Inc. admitted that it made the $150,000 payment to Karen McDougal shortly before the election:

AMI’s principal purpose in entering into the agreement was to suppress the model’s story so as to prevent it from influcencing the election.

The infamous tabloid company now has a story worthy of its own front page.

The hush money paid to Daniels and McDougal by Trump’s lawyer and AMI were made shortly before one of the closet presidential elections in history. We know they were made to hide Donald Trump’s sleazy behavior from the public, especially key women voters. A year long affair with a Playboy Playmate. A brief relationship with a porn star. Both shortly after Melania Trump had given birth to their child. The man is a sleaze. That’s what we’d say privately, but now we get to say it publicaly. We also get to say he’s a crook hiding behind his current presidential shield. This is who the 2016 election elected.

There is nothing inspiring about any of this. Trump’s presidency should never have happened. It was based on lies. Facts that were never made public. And the enormous amount of egotistical naivete that Donald Trump possessed thinking he could run for President of the United States with all of his skeletons locked away. In Trump’s mind, they would never be discovered.

Don’t Let Fear And Intimidation Win: Midterms 2018 by marilyn salenger

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The midterm elections on November 6th, 2018 are firmly placed at the half way point of President Donald Trump’s term in office. In two years, Trump has worked hard to undermine our democratic principles, institutions and our place in the world order while succeeding in his efforts to turn us against one another. All this as he bathes in the light of a man obsessed with power. Donald Trump has become the antithesis of what the term “leader of the free world” was meant to describe.

This congressional election season has carried with it an intensity that’s sometimes become suffocating, sometimes invogorating in direct correlation to the extraordinary anger, bullying and fear mongering emanating from Trump. I use the word extraordinary rather than what’s become the go to word for most things describing Trump, unprecedented, because extraordinary has to be repeated and repeated to remind us how far off course our current president has led us.

Republicans now controlling the Senate and House of Representatives will go down in history as having served as Trump’s enablers. There has been no check and balance or overall concern for the greater good. Instead we have been met with arrogance and self-righteousness. Their votes have been turned into weapons of partisan negativity while their voices have gone silent when President Trump speaks words of hatred, bigotry and untruth. Their actions and silence cannot be rewarded.

In an effort to provide valuable information before you vote, I’m sharing a link to the respected statistics and analysis site FiveThirtyEight. They have created a section entitled, “Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump”. This site enables you see the actual percentages of how often every member of Congress has voted with President Trump. Look up Senators and Congressmen and women to see the reality in numbers for yourself.

This midterm election is one of the most important in many decades. It’s the only opportunity we have to curb Trump’s abuses of power and change the direction our country is headed for two more years. Every day the stakes grow higher and the imperative to vote Democratic becomes greater. We have a president who knows no shame. He leaves the shame for us to live with every day as do too many members of Congress. It’s time to clean house.

The Assault on the Supreme Court Confirmation Process by marilyn salenger

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I did not need to know or want to hear Brett Kavanaugh tell me and a Fox cable news audience that he was a virgin throughout his high school years. That he hadn’t had sexual intercourse for years after that. Seriously? This from a man who wants to be the next Supreme Court Judge. This from a man has not taken a lie detector test concerning any accusations women have made about his role in sexual assault, but went to Fox News to preach his purity and innocence.

Wrong move, Brett.

This entire Supreme Court nomination process has been wrong from the beginning. It’s brought our country to a new low when we have been wondering how much lower it can get. A cloud of shame should be hung over the Republicans promulgating this nightmare of a show that should be no show at all. There is no virtue in their behavior. Remember that as you watch the upcoming hearing.

Yes, Republicans are in the majority on Capitol Hill. Yes, we can change that in the November election. Yes, that’s what this is all about. Republicans are afraid of losing their grasp on power that enables them to appoint the next Supreme Court Justice, and apparently will do anything to get their way. Women be damned.

Remember that in November.

It’s been abhorrent to watch a group of Republican men trying to jam a Supreme Court nominee down our throats, no matter what. The Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and their supporters don’t care to truly hear or understand the women’s voices that are coming forward to speak their intimate truths, but they’re fine with Kavanaugh’s description of his purity. I lived through the Anita Hill hearings and disgrace. How can we be there again?

This is all so tragic. As will be the confirmation hearing being held on Thursday. We will hear Brett Kavanaugh once again defend himself and Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to come forward with allegations of sexual asault by Kavanaugh, will be interrogated. All of the angst of this production is pointless pain because Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley have already told us Kavanaugh will be confirmed in a matter of days as the next Supreme Court Justice. No matter what is said at the hearing.

Remember that in November.

There is so much wrong with this entire ordeal that in no way correlates or reaffirms the importance of the honor of the Supreme Court. The confirmation process must be changed going forward if we want to retain the integrity of our nation’s highest court. Its integrity is something we haven’t heard much about lately, only reinforcing how off course we’ve gotten.

I am ashamed of what is and has been taking place in Washington, D.C. The only good thing to come out of this entire ordeal is that younger men and women are seeing the bravery of women continuing to speak up about sexual assault.

John McCain's Farewell Comforted Us In Our Hour of Need by marilyn salenger

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In the days following his death, Senator John McCain was able to do what no individual political figure has been able to do during these past two years. He gave us a period of mourning that jarred our senses back to believing in the better part of our souls. He gave our collective lives the gift of hope, even if for a moment.          

In McCain's final letter to Americans he wrote:

"We are three-hundred-and-twenty-five million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country, we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do."

Strength. It's what carried Senator McCain through his own life's journey, and what he encouraged us to think about in the week after his final days. It superseded politics or political party at a time when we thought nothing could. His personal story of being a combat fighter pilot shot down during the Vietnam war and held as a prisoner of war for five years, had all the makings of legendary before his death. But the postscript of his meticulously pre-planned funerals will now be etched into modern times. 

The Republican Senator from Arizona brought us together again, a feat that could only be described as herculean at this point in time. There wasn't one large funeral, but multiple steps along the way that made us feel as if John McCain was paying us respect, as we sought to pay him ours. A unique thread of determined purpose that often broke with tradition was unveiled over days.

He bid farewell to his beloved Arizona, lying in state at its Capital in Phoenix. Sharing the most private of times with the public becomes part of the way of life for many political families, but it's never easy. There was enormous poignancy in the impromptu moments of John McCain's farewell that continually brought us back to the man himself as a husband, father and grandfather. The image of Cindy McCain resting her head of his casket was heartbreaking. Anyone who has experienced loss understood.

But when his time at the Capital had ended, Senator McCain exited in a way that could only bring a smile and was definitely unique to the man. Music began to play unexpectedly with Frank Sinatra singing "My Way". Of course.

We learned which public figures he personally asked to speak at all of the services in his honor, and which one he did not. The funeral at the Phoenix North Baptist Church began McCain's last shout out across the political isle with bi-partisan becoming the mantra of his farewell. First it was former Vice President and long time friend Joe Biden who identified himself as he began to speak, "My name is Joe Biden. I'm a Democrat and I loved John McCain." He continued to tell us,  "It wasn’t about politics with John. You could disagree on substance. It was about the underlying values that animated everything John did." Biden  spoke of the McCain's call for civility and respect in the era of partisanship and divisiveness. "John believed so deeply and so passionately in the soul of America."

So much was personal in Senator McCain's farewell, even if you never met him. It was hard not to have some part of the week touch you. As the former pilot began his last flight from the Phoenix airport en route to Washington, D.C., we heard air traffic controllers giving their directions and then softly adding a personal farewell to the man they have guided on so many flights, "We"d like to say good by to a man who has meant so much... And there they go...we'll direct them back to Andrews Air Force Base."

Senator John McCain became the 32nd person in history to lay in state in the Rotunda of our nation's Capitol. His colleagues in Congress paid their respects to a man who had spent over three decades in the U.S. Senate. At his pointed request, and contrary to tradition, both Democrat and Republican leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives jointly placed wreaths around his casket. 

The final public tribute took place at Washington's National Cathedral that was filled to capacity with invited guests. Three former Presidents of the United States, Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama stood inside waiting to honor a man who was both opponent and ally. 

Every funeral service has its eulogies, but never had a United States Senator asked two men who defeated him in his presidential runs, to address those gathered in mourning. John McCain did just that. As President Obama said, "What better way to get a last laugh than to make George (Bush) and I say nice things about him to a national audience. And most of all, it showed a largeness of spirit, an ability to see past differences in search of common ground." President Bush added, "John is the first to tell you he was not a perfect man but he dedicated his life to national ideals that are as perfect as men and women have yet conceived."

Since 2016, we as a country have, in large part, been looking for someone to help lift us up from the depths brought upon us by the actions our current President. It sadly took the death of the Senator John McCain to help us pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and realize once again that coming together for a greater good benefits us all. With all that lay ahead in coming weeks, we need to vividly remember what has taken place during the last week of August 2018, and the feelings it inspired.

 

That Numbing Feeling About Washington and Trump by marilyn salenger

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It's easy to become numb to all that is emanating out of Washington. In one week President Trump's focus went from Russia and Putin to Iran, with Korea hanging in the background. While trade policies swirled and too many separated immigrant children remain separated, a Supreme Court Judicial nominee tries to gain favor, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's trial approaches and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen begins to indicate cooperation with federal authorities. A thousand crises a minute. Any one of these issues in any other presidency would be a major one. 

This is not the time to let any of this get lost in a blur of mind fog. That's what President Trump would like to have happen as the pieces now begin to come together that could burst his self-made bubble of invincibility. Donald Trump's passionate love of money and often careless disregard for the consequences of how he gets it and how he uses it are reaching a moment of potential critical exposure.

Money. It has always been what Donald Trump appears to care about more than anything else. His public face of enormous success has often been shadowed by periodic financial troubles, including bankruptcies, that put his so-called financial empire at risk of collapse. Why should we care now? Because he never fully divested himself of ownership of The Trump Organization business. While supposedly run by his two sons, the President of the United States continues to profit from The Trump Organization bringing his personal business right along with him into the White House. 

President Trump unabashedly and proudly opened the high end Trump International Hotel a few blocks from the White House shortly before he took office. He retained full financial involvement. Trump's D.C. hotel is frequented by foreign government lobbyists, organizations with a myriad of domestic business interests, and those who could be seen as trying to gain favor from the President. In 2017, Trump reportedly earned 40.4 million dollars from his local hotel as he sat close by running our government.

But the days of throwing ethics to the wind may finally be catching up with the President. Earlier this week a Judge ruled for a second time that President Trump must face a lawsuit accusing him of improperly profiting from his Washington hotel. The Judge stated: “A number of foreign governments” have “patronized or have expressed a definite intention to patronize the hotel, some of which have indicated that they are doing so precisely because of the president’s association with it." Lawyers representing the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland claim this violates the Emoulments Clause. Their legal discovery in this case could include a demand for Trump's infamous tax returns.

The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution has come front and center during the Trump presidency because of the flagrant flaunting of his business dealings remaining a personal source of cash flow. The Emoluments Clause was designed to prevent even the slightest appearance of corruption. It states:

“No Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

DonaldTrump remains the first post-Watergate President not to release his tax returns. By not releasing them, he has fanned the flames of curiosity of thousands of reporters, legal minds and the rest of us wondering if our President has been guilty of illegal financial transactions that could compromise our country.

Which leads us to the increasingly important upcoming trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. It will be the first time evidence gathered by special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian meddling of the 2016 election will be made public. Many issues could prove to have parallels to Trump's handling of his own fiances. In part, both men received Russian money for their business ventures. It's always been about the payoff, in one form or another, for Manafort and Trump. Look ahead to hear about where Manafort deposited money. Tax evasion. Money laundering. Greed and arrogance. 

We can move right along to Michael Cohen, until recently Donald Trump's attorney and self-proclaimed "fixer". Just what Cohen has fixed and what he knows has prompted its own Federal investigation. The first bomb was dropped when Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, released an audio tape made by Cohen while he was speaking to Donald Trump. The conversation allowed us to hear the two men talking about setting up a separate corporation, a Limited Liability Corporation, to deal with payment to former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal. The money would be used to keep an alleged affair between Trump and McDougal quiet shortly before the 2016 election. Nothing appears clean and separate when it comes to Donald Trump. It's been reported that another LLC set up to deal with porn star Stormy Daniel's relationship with Donald Trump received money from a Russian oligarch. Both Trump and Cohen have numerous LLC corporations that provide little if any knowledge about their functions and finances.

The scenario keeps coming back to money, Russia and politics, and the threads remain woven throughout Donald Trump's presidency. Trust in special counsel Robert Muller has, by necessity, become a new motto. Being honest with the American people from the beginning was never Donald Trump's style. 

Robert F. Kennedy: Personal Recollections by marilyn salenger

                                                            From the Private Collection of Marilyn Salenger

                                                            From the Private Collection of Marilyn Salenger

 

                                                   

The first time I saw Bobby Kennedy was September of 1966. Our country was in chaos as the war in Viet Nam raged and race riots and racial divides filled our streets and our lives. Tension permeated the air on a near daily basis as many fought not to suffocate. I was three months into my first job as a television news reporter in Cincinnati, Ohio when Robert Kennedy arrived in town to speak to a large outdoor evening rally at the Cincinnati Zoo. His appearance became my assignment. The power of the impression Kennedy made on me that night remains vivid in my mind fifty-two years later. His face focused as his eyes swept across the crowd making each individual feel as if he was talking to them personally about the issues confronting their lives. He made me feel as if he was talking to me. 

Two years later I left the news business and went to work as a volunteer for Senator Kennedy's presidential campaign. Operating out of the Chicago Kennedy for President office, my home town area of northern Indiana became my base as I settled in heading up the campaign's speaker's bureau. The Indiana primary was a critical must win election to propel Kennedy's candidacy forward. He was running against Senator Eugene McCarthy (D-Minnesota) and Indiana Governor Richard Branigan. The politics of the state had always been split by its regions.

Gary, Indiana had just elected Richard Hatcher the second black mayor of a major U.S. city and my mother, Gloria Feigenbaum, became Hatcher's secretary. The turf was familiar to me having grown up in its ethnic melting pot communites, as were the racial issues that had arisen. Bobby Kennedy needed to put together a strong coalition of black and white voters in order to win. My campaign days morphed into serving as a bridge between Kennedy's New York advisors and the newly elected Mayor. The out-of-towners sometimes arrived a bit too heavy handed for the locals, and I somehow seemed to help them work through some of their issues. It was an amazing way for a twenty-four year old to learn how a presidential campaign was run. In our small store front location and around the country there was an intensity of passionate commitment to elect the man who sought a "Newer World".

Among the many of Robert Kennedy's gift's was his ability to empower people to work on effectuating positive change. Kennedy's focus on equal rights, equal opportunity and hope for our future became our focus. He was a man who quoted scholars but spoke to best of our human spirit. His victory in the Indiana primary propelled him to California to claim victory once again. I was in Los Angeles with the campaign at an Oakland rally the night before an assassin's bullets struck. The words to describe the feelings upon hearing the news of his death in those early morning hours of June 6, 1968 were beyond those of personal loss. We knew nothing would ever be the same.

On June 12, I receved a letter from Richard Wade, a University of Chicago professor, who headed up the Chicago Kennedy for President office: 

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Robert Kennedy was no ordinary politician. To remember him on this fiftieth anniversary of his death is to remember the man and the enormous power of his commitment to the words he spoke and all that they meant for the times. He came from great wealth and committed to helping the poor through thought and action. He saw the inequities in our society and chose not to tolerate them but help us begin to rectify them. 

"There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of a comfortable past which, in fact, never existed."                                                                         Robert F. Kennedy